A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Zanzibar vs. Riga for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Zanzibar or Riga?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Zanzibar and Riga can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Zanzibar or Riga?


Just off the coast of Tanzania lies an entrancing archipelago known as Zanzibar. This gorgeous string of islands is the land of sultans, palaces beaches and spice-filled markets. Once an important trading center, many restorations have been done in recent years to restore Zanzibar to its ancient grandeur - earning its capital city UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000.


Riga is the vibrant capital city of Latvia. It continues to gain popularity as a tourist destination in part because it is the base for the airline Air Baltic. This affordable airline offers discount flights around Europe and most of these flights pass through Riga with a forced overnight layover. This encourages travelers to visit this fascinating city for at least a night or two.

Which place is cheaper, Riga or Zanzibar?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Zanzibar is $53, while the average daily cost in Riga is $112. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Zanzibar and Riga in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zanzibar $25
    Riga $57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zanzibar $50
    Riga $114
Compare Hotels in Zanzibar and Riga

Looking for a hotel in Zanzibar or Riga? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Zanzibar

Hotels in Riga

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Zanzibar Hotel Prices and Riga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zanzibar $12
    Riga $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zanzibar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zanzibar:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Zanzibar Airport ZNZ to Island by Minivan: $8.33
  • Zanzibar transfer/Taxi services: $12
  • Private Departure Transfer from Stone Town Hotels to Zanzibar Airports: $15
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Zanzibar Airport to Stone Town: $15
  • Zanzibar transfer and taxi services: $15
  • Paje and Jambiani Transfers from Stone Town: $15
  • Departure Private Transfer from Island to Zanzibar Airport ZNZ by Standard Van: $17
  • Zanzibar Arrival Transfer: Zanzibar Airport to Hotel: $17
  • Zanzibar Shared Departure Transfer: $18
  • Private Transfer from Abeid Amani Karume Airport to Zanzibar: $19
  • Zanzibar Airport Transfer ( Tax) To Stone Town: $19
  • Zanzibar Private Departure Transfer from Stone Town Hotels to the Airport: $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Arrival Private Transfer from Riga Airport RIX to Riga City by Minibus: $91
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Riga Airport RIX to Riga City by Minivan: $47
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Riga Airport RIX to Riga City by Sedan Car: $34
  • From Cesis and Sigulda Day Trip with Hotel Transfers: $151
  • From Private Transfer to Tallinn: $345
  • From Private Transfer to Tallinn with Sightseeing: $462
  • From Private Transfer to Vilnius with Sightseeing: $430
  • From Transfer to Tallinn with Turaida Museum Reserve: $232
  • From Vilnius: One-Way Private Transfer to Riga: $183
  • Private Transfer From Riga Airport To Riga City Center: $38
  • Private Transfer From Riga City Center To Riga Airport: $44
  • Private Transfer from Hotel to Riga Airport with English speaking driver: $54

Is it cheaper to fly into Zanzibar or Riga?

Prices for flights to both Riga and Zanzibar change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Zanzibar $17
    Riga $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zanzibar

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Zanzibar.

  • Half-Day Kuza Cave Swimming Adventure and Cooking Class: $13
  • Authentic Street Food Tours in Stone Town, Zanzibar: $40
  • Zanzibar Traditional Cooking Class: $49
  • Local Cooking Class with Spice Tour in Zanzibar: $52
  • Private Zanzibar Spices Tour with Traditional Swahili Cooking Lesson: $55
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class [Swahili food test ] and Spice farm Private tour: $59
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class & Spice Tour : $59
  • Walking Spice Farm with Local Cooking Class: $60
  • Spice Tour & Cooking Class in Zanzibar: $60
  • Zanzibar Spice farm and Cooking Class: $60
  • Stone Town Private Food Tour with a Guide: $65
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $65

Typical Food Prices in Riga

Some typical examples of dining costs in Riga are as follows:

  • Fast Food Lunch

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Riga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Riga.

  • Central Market Latvian Food Tour: $42
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $109
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $114
  • Private Cooking Master Class In The Latvian Family : $132

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zanzibar $13
    Riga $23

Tours and Activities in Zanzibar

Here are a few actual costs in Zanzibar for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Africa's Paradises Full Sightseeing Package Tours: $15
  • Easy Stone Town Tour: $20
  • Stone Town Historical Walking Tour: $20
  • Stone Town tour: $20
  • Zanzibar Stone Town Historical City Tour: $20
  • 3 Hour Community Walking Tour: $20
  • Zanzibar City/shopping (stone Town Tour): $20
  • Stone town tour: $21
  • Walk to Explore Old Town with Funbeachzanzibartours: $23
  • Stone Town Tour without transport: $24
  • Private Walking Tour in Stone Town: $25
  • The historic walking Tour - Stone Town Zanzibar : $25

Tours and Activities in Riga

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Riga are as follows:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.23
  • Riga's Architecture: A self-guided audio tour of the city's art nouveau history: $5.20
  • An audio tour of Old from St Peter's Church to the Monument of Freedom: $5.20
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.47
  • Riga Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.59
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour: $7.00
  • Riga Old Town Legends Audio Tour on Your Phone (ENG): $7.39
  • Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads: $7.54
  • Complete Self-guided Audio Tour on your Phone: $8.51
  • Art Nouveau in Written & Audio Guides Tour: $8.79
  • Riga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zanzibar $7.04
    Riga $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Zanzibar

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Zanzibar:

  • Thrilling Pub Crawl In Zanzibar. Visit 3 Unique Bars: $26
  • Pub Crawl & Club Experience: $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Riga

Also in Riga, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Old town pub & bar crawl, hidden gems, and local party: $22
  • Pub Crawl in Riga: $33
  • Riga Pub Crawl Nightlife Experience: $35
  • Pub Crawl- Your best night out in Riga with our local guide! : $38
  • Riga Public Pub Crawl : $54
  • Riga Happy Hour Pub Crawl: $54
  • Riga Brewery Tour: $54
  • Riga Beer Killer Bar Crawl: $55
  • Riga Brewery Tour: $70
  • Riga Wine Tasting Session: $103
  • Yacht Tour with Medieval Banquet and Wine Tasting: $3,345

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Zanzibar and Riga, we can see that Riga is more expensive. And not only is Zanzibar much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Zanzibar is in Africa and Riga is in Europe, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Zanzibar would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Zanzibar and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Riga would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Riga than you might in Zanzibar.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Zanzibar Expensive? and Is Riga Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Zanzibar or Riga?

Riga has a larger population, and is about 84% larger than the population of Zanzibar. When comparing the sizes of Zanzibar and Riga, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar or Riga?

Riga has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Zanzibar experiences a warm climate with fairly sunny weather most of the year.

Should I visit Zanzibar or Riga in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Zanzibar and Riga. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Zanzibar year-round. Also, many visitors come to Riga in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Zanzibar is generally a little warmer than Riga. Daily temperatures in Zanzibar average around 25°C (77°F), and Riga fluctuates around 17°C (63°F).

In July, Zanzibar usually receives less rain than Riga. Zanzibar gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Riga receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Zanzibar 25°C (77°F) 
    Riga 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Riga in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Zanzibar as well as Riga. Zanzibar attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. Also, most visitors come to Riga for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Zanzibar is much warmer than Riga in the autumn. The daily temperature in Zanzibar averages around 25°C (78°F) in October, and Riga fluctuates around 7°C (45°F).

Zanzibar usually gets more rain in October than Riga. Zanzibar gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Riga receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Zanzibar 25°C (78°F) 
    Riga 7°C (45°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Riga in the Winter?

Both Riga and Zanzibar are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Zanzibar throughout the year. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Riga because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Riga can be very cold. In the winter, Zanzibar is much warmer than Riga. Typically, the winter temperatures in Zanzibar in January average around 28°C (82°F), and Riga averages at about -5°C (23°F).

In January, Zanzibar usually receives more rain than Riga. Zanzibar gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Riga receives 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zanzibar 28°C (82°F) 
    Riga -5°C (23°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Riga in the Spring?

Both Riga and Zanzibar during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Zanzibar because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Furthermore, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Riga this time of year.

In April, Zanzibar is generally much warmer than Riga. Daily temperatures in Zanzibar average around 27°C (81°F), and Riga fluctuates around 5°C (42°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Zanzibar. Zanzibar usually gets more rain in April than Riga. Zanzibar gets 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain, while Riga receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Zanzibar 27°C (81°F) 
    Riga 5°C (42°F)

Typical Weather for Riga and Zanzibar

Zanzibar Riga
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°C (82°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 52 mm (2 in) -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 269 mm (10.6 in) 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
May 26°C (78°F) 176 mm (6.9 in) 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 24°C (75°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 25°C (76°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Oct 25°C (78°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 132 mm (5.2 in) 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)